It’s one of the oldest tricks in the tyrant playbook, which can be traced to ancient times.
Making it illegal for your subjects to own weapons is one of the surest ways of ensuring the security of your tyranny.
Just this past week, a New Testament scholar attracted a lot of attention by pointing out that Jesus might have been crucified by the Romans because his disciples carried weapons.
So, here we go, another step in the Cubanization of Venezuela. It was one of the first steps taken by Fidel Castro. One has to wonder: why did it take the Venezuelan Chavistas so long to emulate their colonial masters?
Sure, Maduro can claim that disarming civilians is all about bringing down the murder rate. But there is no getting around the fact that when the tyrant has all the weapons, it becomes much harder for his subjects to rebel against him.
From the masters of understatement at the BBC
Maduro launches civilian disarmament plan
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has announced he is expanding a plan to disarm civilians.
Speaking on the International Day of Peace, Mr Maduro said his government would invest $47m (£29m) and create 60 new disarmament centres.
According to United Nations figures, Venezuela has the second highest peacetime murder rate in the world after Honduras.
Most of the murders in Venezuela are committed using firearms.
“We are building peace from within, and for that, you need disarmament,” the president said at an event in the capital, Caracas.
UN figures suggest there were 53.7 murders per 100,000 inhabitants in 2012, compared to 90.4 in Honduras.
The figure was up from 47.8 the previous year.
Mr Maduro also approved $39m in funding for a plan under which soldiers have been deployed to patrol the streets of the most dangerous neighbourhoods.
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